Legend of Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat
Legend of Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat
There is an interesting legend behind the celebration of Sankashti Chaturthi. Goddess Parvati is said to have created Ganesha from the dirt from her body and adopted him as her son. One day, Goddess Parvati had asked Ganesha to guard the front door as she was going to take bath. After a while, Lord Shiva is said to have arrived at that place with his servants. The little boy Ganesha refused to let him in as per the orders of his mother Goddess Parvathi.
Lord Shiva was not acquainted with Ganesha. He was furious by this act of the little boy and ordered his disciples to fight the boy. Ganesha overpowers all his disciples and thus Lord Shiva decided to teach him a lesson himself. He threw his mighty Trishul which chopped Ganesha’s head from his body.
Parvati who rushed to the scene was grief-stricken on seeing the lifeless body of her son. She decided to take the furious form of Adi-Shakti and decided to destroy the Universe. In order to please his wife, Lord Shiva promised to bring the boy back to life. He ordered his booth ghana to look for the head of a boy who lies with his mother, placing his head on the direction north. The obedient booth gangs found only the head of a little elephant and thus brought it to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva then replaced Ganesha’s head with that of the elephant, bringing him back to life. He is also believed to have blessed Lord Ganesha with the boon that he would be worshipped as the God of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity.
Lord Ganesha has the unique distinction of being the only God who is always worshipped first on the commencement of any ceremony. His blessings are said to remove all obstacles in one’s life. This boon is believed to be bestowed upon Lord Ganesha by Lord Shiva on the Sankashti Chaturthi day. Thus the Sankathara or Vighnaharta on Sankashti Chaturthi is considered an auspicious day. Devotees worship the Lord on this day to get rid of all the obstacles in their lives.
Once upon a time, lived a king named Surasena. Indra, the king of Devas, was seen flying over the kingdom of Surasena in his Humana (Plane). Suddenly the plane starts to descend and lands in Surasena’s kingdom. Out of curiosity, the king comes to meet person aboard the plane and realises that it is none other than God Indra. The king then pays his respect to Indra and inquires the reason for his sudden visit to his kingdom.
Indra who was pleased with the kings, tells him that, a person who has committed countless sins saw his plane and hence the plane has landed. He also added that the plane would fly again only if a virtuous person comes forward to donate his virtue. The king requested Lord Indra to show him a way for identifying the most virtuous person in his kingdom. Indra, in turn says that since the present day is a Panchami, the previous day would obviously be a Bahula Chaturthi or Sankashti Chaturi which is also known as Sankata Hara Chaturthi. Those fasting on Shankata Hara Chaturthi are said to possess an endless level of virtue and wisdom. Thus he asks the king to find a person who had fasted the previous day in order to make his plane fly again.
The obedient king immediately orders his soldiers to search for a person who knowingly or unknowingly, had fasted on the previous day of Sankashti Chaturthi since fasting on Sankashti Chaturthi is itself enough to gather a lot of virtue. The soldiers searched the entire kingdom but failed to find even a single person fulfilling their condition. The dejected soldiers were on their way back to the palace when they saw fee Ganesha Duutas, the servants of Lord Ganesha, who were found carrying a dead old woman
On enquiring the Ganesh Duutas, the soldiers came to know that they old lady who was sleeping the entire previous day, without eating or drinking anything, had died in the morn. Hence she was being taken to ‘Swanand Loka’, which is the holy abode of Lord Ganesha, by The virtue of her fasting. The soldiers immediately request the Ganesha Duutas to give away a part of the dead woman’s virtue in order to help them, to which the Ganesh Duutas strictly refused.
Meanwhile, to the surprise of everyone, Lord Indra’s plane suddenly starts to fly. Lord Indra realised that the wind that had blown over the old dead woman’s body has blown over his plane too. The wind is said to have acquired virtue just on blowing over the dead lady who had unintentionally observed fast on Sankata Hara Chathurthi. Such is the effect of fasting on the sacred day of Sankata Hara Chathurthi. This legend stands as a classic example for the holiness of this auspicious occasion. A devotee is said to benefit greatly by observing a strict fast on this day, together with performing devoted pooja to the Lord. Thus a large number of Ganesh devotees observe the much revered Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat.